Afghan peace talks resume in Doha as US reviews Taliban deal

Islamabad: Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have resumed in the Qatari capital Doha after weeks of delays, escalating violence and a change in US diplomatic leadership as the Biden administration began.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem tweeted the resumption of the talks, which were the outcome of an agreement between the Afghan armed group and the US in February 2020.

But the administration of President Joe Biden is reviewing the agreement, which was aimed at ending the longest war the US has fought.

Last week, the Taliban in an open letter called on the US to fully implement the Doha accord, including the withdrawal of all international troops, saying it had committed to its side of the deal – to secure US security interests in the war-torn country.

There were no details about the talks except for an announcement that the first item of business would be setting the agenda.

When talks ended abruptly in January, days after they began, both sides submitted their wish lists for agendas which they now have to sift through to agree on negotiation items and the order in which they will be tackled.

The priority for the Afghan government, Washington and NATO is a serious reduction in violence that can lead to a ceasefire, the Taliban have until now resisted any immediate ceasefire.

Washington is reviewing the Doha peace agreement the previous Trump administration signed with the Taliban as consensus mounts in Washington that a delay of the withdrawal deadline is needed. The Taliban have resisted suggestions of even a brief extension. (Al-Jazeera)

Image courtesy of (rferl.org)

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